Greek theatre originated from Athens in 600BCE.The Greeks valued the power of spoken word. Hence, theatre and drama was one of the main venues used for communication and storytelling. It was performed and celebrated in the name of the Greek god, Dionysus. The Greeks performed genres of play such as tragedy, satyr and comedy. Aspects of the plays such as the cast, costumes, music and genre of the play were of significance and detail in delivering the message and purpose of the act. These same aspects are seen in our stage plays and movies today, though in different forms and styles. Also, the structure of our theatres and auditoriums are a resemblance of the structure of Ancient Greek theatres. These similarities go on to show of how the Greek art and theatre has influenced the art scene of the modern era. Therefore it is worth taking exploring and understanding of how the art scene was performed and celebrated in Ancient Greece and that same art form has influenced the modern art scene, in the areas of theatre, props, costumes, masks, and cast.
In our second blog post, we will be creating a creative post using the smartphone application Instagram to give a deeper insight on these aspects. Instagram allows users to post pictures with captions that describe or narrate information in relation to the picture. It also allows our viewers to have a vivid picture and understanding of how Greek theatre was. This will allow them to have a greater appreciation towards it. Our group will create an Instagram account and post pictures together with nuggets of knowledge regarding Greek theatre. In order to make it more engaging, the profile of the account will be a fictional character named Aesop who is living in 400BCE Greece. He enjoys Greek theatre and shares his experience and knowledge of it through Instagram. Some of the different aspects of Greek theatre that we will be touching on through the perspective of Aesop include genres of plays, famous playwrights, theatres, masks, costumes and actors. Our purpose of doing so is to take the viewers on a journey, as they walk through the life of an Ancient Greek and have a taste of a first-hand experience of Greek plays.
Our posts will focus on images from the Ancient Greek times however with captions from Aesop as though Instagram existed during his time. Some of the significant plays of that time, such as Oedipus Tyrannus, will be posted on our Instagram page to give a real-life Greek example of how plays were like during those times. Aesop will be commenting on the various aspects of Greek theatre and sharing interesting fun facts on them, as he informs his viewers and gives them an insight into the lives of Ancient Greeks who lived around those times.
Checkout our Instagram account! (Aesop)
Arnott, Peter. An Introduction to the Greek Theatre. (1991) Google Scholars
Arnott, Peter. Public and Performance in the Greek Theatre. (1991) Google Scholars.
Borthwick, Kerr. “Review: Greek Music and Musicians: Music and Musicians in Ancient Greece by W. D. Anderson.” (1996) Cambridge University Press, 46: 259-261
Coldiron, Margaret: "Masks in the Ancient and Modern Theatre" (2002) New Theatre Quarterly 18: 393-394.
Hornblower, Simon & Spawforth, Antony & Eidinow, Esther (Eds.). The Oxford Classical Dictionary. (2012) UB Library.
Landels, John. “Music in Ancient Greece and Rome” (2004) University of Toronto Press, 4: 88-90.
Meineck, Peter. (2006). “Ancient drama illuminated by contemporary stagecraft: Some thoughts on the use of mask and "ekkyklēma" in ariane mnouchkine's "le dernier caravansérail" and sophocles' "ajax”. The American Journal of Philology, 127: 453-460.
Winter, Earl. “Greek Theatre Production: A Review Article”(1965) Phoenix, 19: 99-110.
Aubrey Beardsley, Aristophanes Lysistrata, 1896, Public Domain
Bénigne Gagneraux, The Blind Oedipus Commending his Children to the Gods, 1784, Public Domain
Daderot, Exhibit in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 4 November 2011, Public Domain
Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1 January 1787, Public Domain
Peeter van Bredael, Commedia dell'arte Scene in an Italian Landscape, 17th/18th Century, Public Domain
Pelike, Ancient Greek Musical Instrument, 26 June 2010, Public Domain
Siro Ferrone, Comedy Masks, 1571, Public Domain
Smsofyouth, Fans waiting for the concert of Greek singer Sakis Rouvas at Panathinaiko Stadium, 1 July 2009, CC BY 2.0
Wetman, Ancient Greek Masks, 25 June 2005, Public Domain
Jorge Lascar, Theatre of Dionysus, 2 December 2008, CC BY 2.0